Eventually you will need a battery for a car or a scooter or an animatronic spouse you're building in your garage. Where will you get it? Sears? Why not choose an independent battery shop in the same way you'd rather get a coffee from Influx than Starbucks?
My Uncle Danny was a tough guy who reminded me of a gangster in a movie. He ran a battery shop back in Chicago. One afternoon when he was closing up, a customer came in and asked Danny to recharge a battery for him. My uncle was in a hurry, so he charged the battery without putting on protective gloves and footwear. He was electrocuted and died. The tragedy of Uncle Danny has always made battery-shop owners seem like brave daredevil renegades to me.
A few years ago, I needed a battery, so I asked my mechanic neighbor, Vince, where to get one in San Diego. He didn't hesitate: Vic's Go Battery in Barrio Logan. He was right. Vic is a guy who has lived in San Diego his whole life. He was an old-school, low-rider, gangster-type vato who found himself on the wrong side of the law too many times back in the day. In the '60s, he turned himself around and discovered purpose in the power of energy storage. He's made a living of it and raised a family. He has decorated his store (3616 Main St.), down in the industrial side of the serious hood, with old car ornaments, toys, emblems and miscellaneous Sanford and Son weirdness that cover the walls and fill ancient display cases.
Vic is an eccentric character who will tell you some pretty outrageous stories, if you're interested. He does business the old way. He makes friends with his customers and treats them fairly. I got a hard-to-find battery from him for half the price of the major chain store I called. Vic is kind of rough around the edges like Uncle Danny was, and his place looks more like a battery graveyard/museum than a showroom.
If you need a battery, get it from Vic. And would you please do me a favor on your way out and remind him to wear protective gear when he's working the charger-real battery guys are tough, but not very easy to come by. --D.A. Kolodenko